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Pablo Martinez Monsivais / AP

Government ethics advocates are raising concerns that Trump is blatantly dodging the Federal Advisory Committee Act, a 45-year-old law that requires advisory committee meetings — where influential business leaders are expected to give advice or recommendations to a President or agency — to be open the public.

Why it matters: This is the rule that initially caused Obama's similar CEO council to hold its meetings publicly. It's also the one that got Dick Cheney and his Energy Task Force in trouble. The point of the FACA law is to prevent special interests from having outsized sway in private meetings.

"I think the White House is skirting the law," Norm Eisen, former Obama ethics chair and Chairman of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, told Axios. "If they're having meetings that are subject to FACA, or even close, they should follow the rules."

Beyond today's meeting: The group filed a complaint with the White House this week taking issue with Trump's use of an advisory committee to get advice on potential Supreme Court justice nominations. "The public is entitled to know how the committee conducted its business and the recommendations it provided the president," the complaint says.

Possible pattern: Watchdogs worry Trump is purposefully naming and structuring his groups in ways that allow him to avoid the rules. For example, the administration last week announced a "manufacturing jobs initiative" including more than two dozen CEOs and labor leaders. The announcement included a disclaimer: No consensus advice or recommendations resulting from group deliberations or interaction is expected or will be solicited. That language suggests officials are well-aware of the legal requirements around these kinds of meetings, Eisen said.

What they're saying: A White House official told Politico that the groups have been structured and named "to ensure everything we have done...is fully compliant with all laws, including FACA."

Go deeper

Hill votes will make global waves

President Biden addresses the UN General Assembly on Sept. 21, 2021 in New York City. Photo: Eduardo Munoz-Pool/Getty Images)

This epic week for President Biden on Capitol Hill is even bigger than his domestic agenda.

Why it matters: Biden has anchored his entire strategy for foreign affairs on the notion that "America is back." What that means in practice is that Biden needs to prove democracy works to rally America’s liberal allies against rising authoritarians.

3 hours ago - World

German election: Exit polls show close race to succeed Angela Merkel

SPD leader Olaf Scholz. Photo: Alex Kraus/Bloomberg via Getty Images

BERLIN — The first exit poll from Sunday's German elections showed the center-left Social Democrats (SPD) and the center-right Christian Democrats (CDU) in a dead heat at 25%, leaving the race to succeed Angela Merkel too close to call.

The state of play: A second exit poll showed the SPD narrowly ahead. That's the one televisions displayed at SPD headquarters in Berlin, where the room erupted into cheers. Official results will roll in throughout the evening.

Abbott says he'll hire Border Patrol agents on horseback if they're fired

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) on Sunday defended the actions of U.S. Border Patrol agents who charged at Haitian migrants on horseback, blaming the Biden administration for not preventing them from crossing the border.

Why it matters: Abbott's remark on "Fox News Sunday" comes amid increased backlash over the incident, with President Biden saying, "I promise... those people will pay,” and the Department of Homeland Security launching an investigation.